The new eugenics movement

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“The ultimate ideal sought,” wrote Harvey Ernest Jordan in 1912, “is a perfect society constituted of perfect individuals.” Jordan, who would later be dean of medicine at the University of Virginia, was speaking to the importance of eugenics in medicine—­a subject that might seem tasteless and obsolete today. Yet nearly a century later, in 2008, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the biomedical research institute on Long Island’s north shore, published a book titled Davenport’s Dream, which shows that eugenic visions persist. Charles Davenport, ­a colleague and friend of Jordan’s, ­had directed Cold Spring Harbor for the first third of the 20th century, turning it from a sleepy, summertime marine-biology laboratory into a center for genetics research­—and the epicenter of American eugenics.

View the original article here: The Eugenic Impulse

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